Alec Baldwin to Gov. Wolf: Bring Bear’s Abusers to Justice

Actor Joins PETA in Calling for Union County Sportsmen's Club to Be Held Accountable for Neglecting Dillan the Bear

For Immediate Release:
August 13, 2020

Moira Colley 202-483-7382

Millmont, Penn. – Today, Alec Baldwin sent Gov. Tom Wolf a letter on PETA’s behalf urging him to take action to ensure that the Union County Sportsmen’s Club employees or agents responsible for neglecting Dillan the bear are held accountable. After a vigorous PETA campaign, Dillan was released to The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado in January, and the group is now calling for neglect and cruelty-to-animals charges to be brought against those responsible for his mistreatment.

In the letter, Baldwin points out that the club allowed Dillan to suffer from painful dental disease for at least three years, confined him to a cramped cage, and fed him a poor diet—despite numerous citations from the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the fact that Dillan, at 857 pounds, was morbidly obese.

“The club willfully subjected this bear to years of agony while infection grew in his mouth almost as quickly as he gained weight. It’s a miracle that he survived,” writes Baldwin. “There is no excuse for the club’s cruel mistreatment of Dillan, and it must be held accountable.”

Baldwin also called on Gov. Wolf to insist that the club relinquish the animals it currently holds, which include raccoons, deer, and a bobcat.

PETA—whose motto reads, in part, that “animals are not ours to use for entertainment”—opposes speciesism, a human-supremacist worldview. For more information, please visit

Baldwin’s letter to Gov. Wolf follows.

August 13, 2020
The Honorable Thomas Wolf
Governor of Pennsylvania

Dear Gov. Wolf,

First, kudos on launching Pennsylvania’s violence data dashboard. I hope it catches on in other states.

I’m writing to thank you once more for freeing Dillan, the sickly Asiatic black bear stuck in a cage for years in Millmont. I’m also writing to urge you to ensure that justice is served in this case. Dillan was rescued more than six months ago from the Union County Sportsmen’s Club, and despite overwhelming evidence, his abusers still haven’t been charged with cruelty to animals and neglect over Dillan’s mistreatment. An example must be set to help other animals stuck in similarly shoddy situations.

Dillan is now living at The Wild Animal Sanctuary in Colorado, where within his first three weeks, he underwent dental surgery to treat the painful issues that he’d suffered from for years at the club. What veterinarians found was shocking. Dillan had to have 12 teeth pulled and a root canal. An infected abscess in his mouth was so advanced that pus was draining through a hole that had bored through his gums. The U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) first cited the club over its failure to address his severe dental concerns three years ago, yet the club did nothing to alleviate his pain and suffering.

At the time of his surgery, Dillan was morbidly obese. He weighed 857 pounds—which is more than two and a half times the normal weight for a male Asiatic black bear. The club knowingly confined him in a harmful, inadequate environment and continued to feed him a poor diet even after the USDA repeatedly cited it for these failures beginning in July 2017.

The club willfully subjected this bear to years of agony while infection grew in his mouth almost as quickly as he gained weight. It’s a miracle that he survived. What the club failed to do in three years, the sanctuary did in less than three weeks. There is no excuse for the club’s cruel mistreatment of Dillan, and it must be held accountable.

I respectfully ask that you use your power to ensure that Dillan’s longtime abusers are brought to justice. His story has garnered national attention. Please show the public that Pennsylvania will not stand for this cruelty, and please insist that the animals who remain in the club’s custody be released to accredited facilities. Thank you.

Very truly yours,
Alec Baldwin

For Media: Contact PETA's
Media Response Team.


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 Ingrid E. Newkirk

“Almost all of us grew up eating meat, wearing leather, and going to circuses and zoos. We never considered the impact of these actions on the animals involved. For whatever reason, you are now asking the question: Why should animals have rights?” READ MORE

— Ingrid E. Newkirk, PETA President and co-author of Animalkind